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Eszterhas to fight smoking

November 21, 2003|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — "Basic Instinct" screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who lost part of his larynx to cancer, wrote and stars in new anti-smoking announcements for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The clinic hopes the three announcements will air in movie theaters and on TV stations nationwide as part of a new program, "Join Joe," that aims to help people quit using tobacco.

"I'm hoping that my cancer and my voice will neutralize the pro-smoking message in the movies," Eszterhas said. "I describe this as a loaded weapon aimed at a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old -- and the gun goes off when they're 50."

"Join Joe" will provide support through a Web site for those seeking help quitting smoking. It also will encourage people to help Eszterhas spread an anti- smoking message, and he'll host weekly one-hour Web programs beginning in January.

Eszterhas, 58, was diagnosed with throat cancer nearly three years ago and was treated at the clinic. His cancer is in remission. The screenwriter's films include "Flashdance" and "Basic Instinct."

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